Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Snow Scene

Since I work at home (when I manage to get any work), I'm lucky I don't have to figure out how to commute to my job in the snow these days. The subways, trolleys, and commuter trains shut down completely at 7 pm on Monday night and resumed service this morning, although "service" is a relative term, with fewer cars in use, cancellations, and delays. There are crazy-long lines for shuttle buses at stops on the Red and Orange lines that still aren't working. And the buses sit in traffic with everyone else on roads that are narrowed and congested from snow piles and parked cars — and extra cars because so many people have given up on public transit. 

Walking is still the most reliable way to get anywhere, although it's treacherous. It's also cold — but not as cold as it's going to be, as a big Arctic front is coming in and plans to stick around for a while. 

I've been out recently and took a few photos. (I hate taking off my gloves to use my iPhone so I don't take many!) Some streets, including Commonwealth Avenue and Beacon Street, are clear of cars because a "snow emergency" has been in effect. Where cars have been allowed to park, many haven't been shoveled out since the snow began last month. Snow piles ranging from four to six feet high are everywhere. While many sidewalks have been carefully cleared and salted repeatedly, others are a slippery mess. 

Marlborough Street

Crossing streets is generally hard because, at corners, there are often only narrow, slushy trails made by boots instead of shovels between the high snow piles. I've often had to hang onto those piles to keep from falling. I haven't wiped out yet but I've come close. I've also just missed — twice, by a few seconds — getting beaned by a heavy load of ice and snow falling from a roof. The first time was just outside the door of the Patisserie. I stopped to let someone pass me up the narrow stairway or I would have been hurt. This is a serious hazard all over the streets. It's hard to keep looking skyward for falling ice while you're walking on slippery pavement, but you'd better do it.

The Commonwealth Avenue Mall — still no cars on either side.

It's been snowing all morning, and sticking. It's going to snow a little tomorrow and again on Thursday. We were supposed to get 5 to 8 inches of snow on Thursday night but it seems that's not happening now, although we're supposed to get that much on Saturday night. 

Marlborough at Clarendon.... corners are bad for walking.

What can we do?  Hunker down, keep in touch (our landline has been dead, probably from ice on the lines, since Saturday), cook and bake delicious things, read and watch movies, do crafts and puzzles. I was going to add "clean and declutter" to the list but decided it's optional. I might muster some energy for that, but it's usually a cheerless task and we all need all the cheer we can get. 

I've been wishing that we all still had our Christmas lights up. We could use some more color and light these days, even if it's just a faint glow under yet another layer of snow.

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